Extreme weather conditions have made the agricultural sector the most vulnerable in the country leading to destruction of agro-based infrastructure and livelihood.
As a result key stakeholders from the government, public and private sector, academia and NGOs across the country Thursday, May 12, 2016 launched Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), Kenya in a bid to achieve climate resilience.
EBAFOSA-Kenya domiciled at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology is the fifth established chapter in Africa after Zambia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Mozambique Chapters.
The assembly is the first inclusive Pan-African policy framework and implementation platform that provides ecosystem based adaptation which ensures food security in Africa. It seeks to combat food insecurity, climate change, ecosystems degradation and poverty.
Mr. Willy Bett, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries who was represented by his Principal Secretary, Dr. Andrew Tuimur acknowledged that the agricultural sector is a key economic pillar for the attainment of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and lauded the establishment of EBAFOSA-Kenya, designed to re-shape food security and climate resilience in Kenya.
Mr. Bett said the government is committed to the course chartered by EBAFOSA and was positive that the establishment of the Kenya Chapter will contribute to the country’s efforts to adapt and build resilience in the agriculture sector and aid in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The government has created an enabling environment for the agricultural sector by putting in place policies and strategies that support Ecosystem based approach,” assured the Cabinet Secretary.
On her part, EBAFOSA Africa Chairperson, Dr. Alice Kaudia said the falling agricultural production in the continent is the number one contributor of stagnating economic growth across Africa. To curb this, she said EBAFOSA is empowering and equipping farmers with agricultural skills and facilitating market linkages that suit them to penetrate the competitive agricultural market.
She also challenged the Kenyan government to collaborate with the Kenya Chapter in cascading ecosystem based approaches to the county levels to enhance food security thus, leading to economic growth and improved livelihood to Kenyans especially in the rural areas.
Prof. Haroun Mengech, Principal, College of Health Sciences representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga reiterated the importance of academia, industry and government partnership especially in ecosystem based approaches towards development initiatives in the country.
“Findings of research and innovations from the researchers and students at JKUAT and other universities will need partnerships to upscale and transfer to the users for wealth creation, improvement of livelihoods and for economic development of our nation,” said Prof. Imbuga
She acknowledged that food security and ecosystems management for sustainability in the current trend of climate change posed a challenge adding that there was need for concerted efforts to develop innovations to assist communities in adaptation and climate change resilience. She assured the audience that JKUAT as the host institution for the secretariat would play her role as outlined in the EBAFOSA constitution.